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Old 12-27-2006, 04:35 PM
 
9,745 posts, read 28,598,535 times
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Is the Research Triangle Park both the best thing that ever happened to Raleigh & Durham and the worst thing at the same time as far as a downtown revival is concerned? On the one hand all the great employers located in RTP have attracted a huge portion of the diverse population that has relocated to the area creating greater demand for housing, goods and services, shopping and entertainment. On the other had, RTP is situated well outside the downtown area of Raleigh and thus most of the people who move hear seem to regard downtown as merely a backdrop for the RTP area.

I am a big fan of downtown Raleigh and I am excited to see the new bars, shops, theaters, and condos popping up down there everyday. FYI- I personally define “Downtown” Raleigh as the area bordered by Peace Street to the North, Martin Luther King Boulevard to the South, Glenwood and Boylan Avenue to the West and Person Street to the East, although I do recognize there are extensive historic “Downtown” Residential Neighborhoods to the east of Person, I am more concerned with the mixed use areas within the grid boundaries listed above and not just residential neighborhoods.

I work downtown and eventhough I live in North Raleigh outside of I-540 I usually make it to downtown Raleigh almost every weekend for one reason or another. However, in that regard I feel I am in the minority. I think people move to the Triangle Area in droves and never make it to downtown Raleigh except for rare occasions. With the RTP area being such a big center of employment, there seems to be more of a focus on living as closes to that area as possible. Now there are even residential areas being built within RTP itself along with shopping strip malls. I know not everyone is into a downtown experience and a lot of people cam here just looking for a good place to raise a family, but I can’t help but wonder how many people move into North Raleigh, Garner, Fuquay, Clayton, Holly Springs, Cary, and Apex and just work in RTP and go shopping at Target and Home Depot on the weekends never really make the trip into downtown Raleigh or Durham. It seems to me that for downtown to really take off more employers would need to move into the downtown area so more people could Live, Work, and Play there. But with RTP located here, I can see why companies open up shop there instead. Like I said, it appears to me anyway, that RTP is both a blessing and a curse for the triangle area. What do you think?
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Old 12-27-2006, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
3,124 posts, read 12,104,328 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
Is the Research Triangle Park both the best thing that ever happened to Raleigh & Durham and the worst thing at the same time as far as a downtown revival is concerned? On the one hand all the great employers located in RTP have attracted a huge portion of the diverse population that has relocated to the area creating greater demand for housing, goods and services, shopping and entertainment. On the other had, RTP is situated well outside the downtown area of Raleigh and thus most of the people who move hear seem to regard downtown as merely a backdrop for the RTP area.

I am a big fan of downtown Raleigh and I am excited to see the new bars, shops, theaters, and condos popping up down there everyday. FYI- I personally define “Downtown” Raleigh as the area bordered by Peace Street to the North, Martin Luther King Boulevard to the South, Glenwood and Boylan Avenue to the West and Person Street to the East, although I do recognize there are extensive historic “Downtown” Residential Neighborhoods to the east of Person, I am more concerned with the mixed use areas within the grid boundaries listed above and not just residential neighborhoods.

I work downtown and eventhough I live in North Raleigh outside of I-540 I usually make it to downtown Raleigh almost every weekend for one reason or another. However, in that regard I feel I am in the minority. I think people move to the Triangle Area in droves and never make it to downtown Raleigh except for rare occasions. With the RTP area being such a big center of employment, there seems to be more of a focus on living as closes to that area as possible. Now there are even residential areas being built within RTP itself along with shopping strip malls. I know not everyone is into a downtown experience and a lot of people cam here just looking for a good place to raise a family, but I can’t help but wonder how many people move into North Raleigh, Garner, Fuquay, Clayton, Holly Springs, Cary, and Apex and just work in RTP and go shopping at Target and Home Depot on the weekends never really make the trip into downtown Raleigh or Durham. It seems to me that for downtown to really take off more employers would need to move into the downtown area so more people could Live, Work, and Play there. But with RTP located here, I can see why companies open up shop there instead. Like I said, it appears to me anyway, that RTP is both a blessing and a curse for the triangle area. What do you think?
I don't think that RTP is keeping anyone from downtown. I like the vibe down there....but stay away most of the time because of predatory tow-trucks and the parking.

If you are in 'the know' I guess you can avoid it, but there is no way I am taking the chance of not finding parking, then if I do, having my car towed with no way back home.
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Old 12-27-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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I had not heard about a predatory tow truck problem downtown. HAS this been in the news recently or soemthing. I am curious to learn more about it as I have never experienced that problem and didn;t even know it existed.
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Old 12-27-2006, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest
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Quote:
Originally Posted by North_Raleigh_Guy View Post
I had not heard about a predatory tow truck problem downtown. HAS this been in the news recently or soemthing. I am curious to learn more about it as I have never experienced that problem and didn;t even know it existed.
Not sure it's been in the news recently....they have added new parking....but I am surprized you've never seen the many articles in the N&O.

When I hear that the private towing companies have stopped trolling (they have very few rules againest them just taking a vehicle if they think they can get away with it) then I might go downtown more often.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:07 PM
 
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Personally, I don't see RTP as the curse to Raleigh & Durham's downtowns, really. As long as the powers that be keep RTP as offices & labs only, and no residences or retail, then it could never really compete with the cities. (Unfortunately, I've heard that may start to change, and I'm 100% against that.)

The real curse to the local downtowns...as well as urban business districts all over the country? Suburban shopping centers and malls. No doubt about it. Think about it...before WWII, people never even heard of such a thing as a strip mall....and downtowns all over the place were thriving.
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:47 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, FL
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The story with downtown parking is that there's a legal limit with how far you can park from the curb. I can't remember if it's 6 or 10 or 12 inches, but if your car is beyond the limit, it can be towed. And yes, they were out checking with rulers or tape measures or whatever - it was silly. From what I've heard on the news, the city really began a massive crackdown about the time Fayetteville Street reopened this year. And of course, there was a massive negative reaction from residents over it. The city's argument is that lack of attention to the problem creates a potential traffic problem/hazard on some already narrow streets downtown.

I agree, there are probably more important issues to deal with... the towing thing was quite a bit extreme. Unless you're double-parked or parked in a handicapped zone, bus stop, or fire/emergency zone, there's no need to be impounding cars. On the other side of the issue, parking should be one of the most fundamental and easiest parts of every day driving. Ever been to a parking lot where a driver can't seem to simply park BETWEEN the lines? Hello?

Speaking on the parking subject, anyone know the rules about parking motorcycles downtown? Are cycles allowed to share spaces or not?

And my 2 cents on RTP's impact on downtown - I vote "blessing". Remember, RTP development is restricted to a very few select types of businesses. It's not really competing with downtown for development. RTP has brought thousands of jobs to the region and the spin-off from that has created a revival and interest in downtown. Downtown Raleigh is only going to get better, folks - there's still a lot of good things to come!
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
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Default How safe is downtown at night?

Moving to RTP in a couple weeks from Austin, and we really like the "vibe" in downtown Austin, especially at night. We have lots of streets that are well lit and you can walk around quite safe. Is it the same in Raleigh or Durham downtown areas? Are there parking garages? Are they within walking distance of the shops and restaurants? Are there horse and buggy rides thru the area?
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Old 12-28-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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Originally Posted by lolligrump View Post
Moving to RTP in a couple weeks from Austin, and we really like the "vibe" in downtown Austin, especially at night. We have lots of streets that are well lit and you can walk around quite safe. Is it the same in Raleigh or Durham downtown areas? Are there parking garages? Are they within walking distance of the shops and restaurants? Are there horse and buggy rides thru the area?
Downtowns are pretty safe here...in fact they're usually safer than some other areas.
Parking can be done in decks (city-owned ones are free nights & weekends) plus a good deal of street parking. It's never hard to park near a shop or restaurant you're visiting. (Although I've heard some lazy people whine about walking a few blocks, but I ignore them.)
No regular horse/buggy ride things that I know of...I have seen them rented out for weddings, etc. Downtown Ral does have a trolley-like ride.
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Old 12-28-2006, 03:24 PM
 
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I think the downtown area is in the process of taking off now. With all the new construction on condos and other living areas more people will be right there in the "heart" of the city. In 5-10 years when most of the new construction is finished the area might be more comparable to the downtowns of other cities with both residential and commercial. More people moving downtown will also lure more businesses to move into the area.

I feel that a lot of people would rather reside in the suburbs and come to "play" in the downtown area on the weekends. I know I wouldn't personally want to live downtown if I hung out there often. For the hardcore barhoppers having a downtown condo would be great but for most other people they'd want to get away from it all after they were done partying.

Parking actually isn't too bad downtown, it will probably get worse and worse though. After 5pm during weekdays and anytime on the weekends you can park literally anywhere without worrying about being towed. Like someone else said as long as you aren't in a loading zone or emergency zone you'll be fine. The law is you must be within 12 inches of the curb, much better than the 6 inches in other cities.
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Old 12-29-2006, 07:24 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ALT-X View Post
For the hardcore barhoppers having a downtown condo would be great but for most other people they'd want to get away from it all after they were done partying.
Perhaps, although most of the folks I know who live downtown are in no way "hardcore barhoppers". I'd just describe them as people who really like to walk everywhere (or bicycle) and also dislike using cars unless it's absolutely necessary. They'll walk to more than just bars...restaurants, coffee shops, stores, museums, theatre, work, etc. Yes, it's nice being able to walk to bars without worrying about a designated driver....but I think for most downtown residents, that's only icing on the cake.

And that's a good thing for folks who drive into downtown on nights and weekends, too---it means less traffic, more parking spots, and overall a safer downtown. So it's a win-win for everyone.
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